I Stood Up

Fashion with a message at the House of Lords

On February 24th 2015 the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Cape Farewell and Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey organised 'I Stood Up'. This workshop and panel discussion were designed to invite and inspire young and first-time voters in order to discuss the topics political engagement, climate change and the environment, fashion and politics. Cape Farewell's Poets-in Residence (from this and last year) Zia Ahmed and Sabrina Mahfouz were showcasing how poetry can be used as a very effective and powerful tool to express ones thoughts and political opinion. With the General Election just around the corner and with over 3 million young people eligible to vote for the first time in May, this event gave the participants a chance to have their voices heard.

The young participants explored political issues, including sustainability and climate change, through the use of fashion and language as a medium of expression. First discussions were held between the participants, the poets and artists, the representatives of the House of Lords, CSF and CF. The topics gathered from these discussions were then personalised afterwards, by designing and customising t-shirts using print-making, diverse materials and custom-made badges. The populair topics included gender-inequality, housing difficulties in big cities, sustainability and climate change. Afterwards the participants were able to have their photo taken showing their amazing customised shirts.

The workshop was followed by I Stood Up: A Time for Questions, a panel discussion chaired by Baroness Young. The conversation between the audience and the panelists – Professor Frances Corner; Professor Lois McNay; Louise Court, Editor-In-Chief Cosmopolitan magazine; Lord Tyler, Liberal Democrat Peer; Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party; Alison McGovern Labour MP – which touched on the diverse political aspects of fashion, and ranged from feminism and body image, the economy, foreign policy and city living.